When we simplify our lives we are free to spend more of our time doing the things we love and being with the people we love and less time dealing with day-to-day details. Below are three easy ways to simplify your email, postal mail and meals.
#1 – How to Simplify Your Email. First off, there are 3 types of emails.
2. Emails that require an action or response from you
3. Emails that you are simply interested in reading or using as a reference (but don’t require a response or action).
Delete the junk immediately. Respond to the action items immediately. Store the ones you want to read or reference in a “To Read” folder. Make it your goal to clear out your inbox at the end of every business day.
* Start by scanning your inbox and deleting the junk
* When possible, do important action items immediately
* Do not feel obligated to respond to forwards, or to even read them. If you are interested in reading it but don’t have time at the moment, simply store it in a “To Read” folder
* Never put any emails that require an action or response in your “To Read” folder
* Respond to personalized emails right away
* Stop responding when an interchange has served its purpose
#2 – Simplifying Your Meals
Each time you make dinner, consider double or tripling the recipe. This typically takes less time than making 2-3 separate meals on separate nights. Divide up the extra portions into containers, label and freeze. If you were to triple your meals everyday for a week, you would have two weeks worth of frozen meals that just need to be heated up and served. Some meals aren’t good frozen so another option is to plan ahead and make meals that can easily be turned into different meals the following night. For example, you can make several different easy meals out of one rotisserie chicken.
You could also make a new triple sized recipe two nights per week and simply heat up and serve already prepared meals the remaining days of the week. Just add a fresh salad on the side. Your family gets the benefit of delicious and nutritious homemade meals and you get the benefit of only cooking two nights per week plus saving money.
#3 – Simplifying Your Postal Mail
Have a specific space in your home where you deal with your mail. Keep a recycling bin, garbage can and paper shredder in or near that space. When the mail first arrives take just a couple of minutes to toss, recycle and shred. All documents containing your personal information, as well as, credit card applications need to be shredded. According to the Better Business Bureau, 68% of identity theft happens as a result of documents being stolen from recycling and trash bins. Being diligent about shredding your personal information is such an easy way to protect yourself.
Next, create an “Active File System”. This system should keep all of the papers that you need to take action on, bills to pay, forms to complete, kids school calendars and so on. This “Active File System” is different from your long-term file system where you keep things like insurance policies, taxes and that sort of thing. The “Active File System is just for your day-to-day paperwork, mostly papers that require an action or response from you. Keep your “Active File System” in a small portable file box in the area that you deal with your mail. This will help keep your organized and reduce the amount of piles of papers on your counter tops and tables.
By taking these three simple steps you will free up some of your time and you may even feel a bit calmer and happier.
“How we spend our days is of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard
Heidi is a professional organizer specializing in organizing paperwork , creator of The Fast-Filing Method home filing system, & publisher of Life Made Simple e-Magazine. She energizes her readers’ lives by teaching effective systems to help you accomplish more in less time! Visit ClearSimpleLiving.com to get a complimentary subscription & a FREE Home Organization Kit.